Auto storage yard problem starts with zoning |

Auto storage yard problem starts with zoning

J.T. Coyoté, Silverthorne

I woke up this morning, fully intending to have a complete and productive day of monetarily rewarding productivity in the shop, when I get a frantic call from my wife. “Honey,” she screamed, “look on page A2 of this morning’s paper!” I grabbed it and flip it open to find a disturbing article: “Proposed auto storage yard raises eyebrows.” The article says that the property 150 feet from my bedroom window is about to be turned into a holding yard for towed vehicles and the trucks that tow them – big tow trucks! On top of that, the article informs me that the Silverthorne Planning Commission will be hearing suggestions for the finalization of the plans for this facility “today.” This is the very first I have heard of this. Why was I not informed? Who’s in control at the town council anyway?I read further on. It seems Larry and Laura Lewark, the owners of Ski Country Shell in Frisco, own this property and will begin building if the town council approves the plan. Reading on still further, Mrs. Lewark is quoted saying she attempted to contact neighboring homes to discuss possible options to lessen impacts, but was not successful in reaching anyone. I’m here in my home 24-7. No one ever knocked, no one ever phoned, I received no notice in the mail, no note tacked on the door, nothing. Here I am, the house mouse, cottage industry, keep-up-on-the-news Coyoté, and I didn’t even know a thing about this.Let me digress a bit. The problem is that some 20 years ago or so, when the school was built between Fourth and Fifth streets on Brian Avenue and a large circle of commercially zoned property around the school was rezoned as residential, the town council and planning commission did not take into consideration that the southernmost end of that circle would be bumping into the heavy industrial center of the commercial zone. They completely forgot to rezone this new commercial/residential edge from heavy commercial to light commercial where the two came together at Fourth Street. So as a result, it is possible for a full-blown diesel semi-tractor maintenance shop to be constructed and operate 24 hours a day, right across the street from my house. That is how poorly planned the zoning of the property here on Fourth Street was. The failing is not with the property owner, myself or the Lewarks. The problem is with the town council and planning commission. Those changes should have been made at the time the property around the school was rezoned residential.Then there’s traffic on Fourth Street between Highway 9 and Brian Avenue. It is intense from five in the morning until eight at night. The Silverthorne post office is also at that intersection and everyone in Silverthorne passes by my front door at least once every day or two to pick up their mail. UPS runs back and forth on Fourth Street all day long – I don’t mind that – but about eight at night when all the traffic stops, it becomes quiet. But huge tow trucks running all night in emergency situations just outside my bedroom window doesn’t bode well for our future here. The peace and quiet will be completely gone, and the value of our property will plummet. I blame the planning commission and town council for completely disregarding the residents of Silverthorne. The question is, how many other areas in the town were also as poorly planned? I don’t think I made these points very well Tuesday night when I spoke at the planning commission meeting. I hope this letter helps the council’s understanding.J.T. CoyotéSilverthorne

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